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Your Local Guide
Hi, my name is Lars and I’m excited to show you around the Bay Area that I’ve come to love so much! I was born in the Netherlands and tried my hand at a few careers (financial advisor, real estate, business owner, etc) before I found my true passion - tourism. It all started after I moved to Barcelona in 2009 and began working as a guide for a large Dutch Bicycle tour company in the city. My love for the city and working with people grew, and the next thing I knew I had started my own company offering GPS enabled games to larger groups visiting the city, which I then expanded to assisting with planning all their activities during their entire visit. I loved getting to share my knowledge about the city I loved and knew so well, and helping people make the most of their holiday. As happens, I met a girl who was also a guide, and we spent all our free time traveling around Europe and eventually the world. She happened to have family out in the Bay Area, so we found ourselves here frequently and each time felt like I was coming home. We finally moved out here in 2013 and I started working with Extranomical Tours shortly after that. I love that every day I have the opportunity to meet interesting new people from all over the world and share with them my love for the history, cuisine, culture, nature and so much more that the Bay Area has to offer! I’m looking forward to meeting you soon! Cheers!
Trips Guided by Lars
- 1) See Beach Blanket Babylon - Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon in club Fugazi is a must see when you visit our city, they say it’s as iconic as the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s world’s longest-running musical which started in 1974. The show changes frequently – disproportionately big hats, very colorful, very cheerful. Grab a drink in Vesuvio Café where the Beatniks used to hang out, have a nice dinner in one of the many restaurants that North Beach has to offer and see the show at club Fugazi.
- 2) Dine at State Bird Provisions - this tapas-style, new American restaurant is widely regarded as one of the most innovative restaurants in the country. The place is decorated with pegboard and vivid canvases and the friendly and engaged staff keep passing by with dim-sum-style carts with spectacular seasonal small plates. Getting a reservation is more or less impossible, but just walk in and hope!
- 3) Check out the T-Rex at UC Berkeley - if you’re in the East Bay already, great place to check out is the campus of UC Berkeley. Maybe see some live music at the Greek Theater with views on San Francisco. During the day you can see an actual skeleton of a T-Rex in the Valley Life Sciences Building, or pop on up the historic clock tower for some lovely views ($2 fee when open)
- 4) Drink some local beer - Mikkeller is the first international beer bar from the Danish brewer from Copenhagen. This place is excellent if you want to try several local beers. They sell their own, but have a lot of guest brews as well as some wines. They serve their beer at different temperatures appropriate to the style of beer. Good place to grab a bite as well, what else can you wish for?
- 5) Take a ferry to Jack London Square - this waterfront location offers shops, restaurants, bars and has a lively atmosphere. It’s easy to get to by ferry from the ferry building in San Francisco and is a great place to hang out with views on the Oakland yacht harbor. Grab a beer at Heinold’sFirst and Last Chance saloon, that was made from a whaling ship in 1883, or enjoy a great wine tasting of Napa Valley wines at Cerruti Cellars. The square offers a variety of activities and you can even rent a canoe or kayak.
- 6) Enjoy Fine dining at Aziza - Aziza might be a little ways from downtown since it’s located in the Richmond, but this Moroccan restaurant is worth the journey. MouradLahlou, reinvented his favorite Moroccan dishes using fresh, local, artisanal ingredients of Northern California. Aziza became the first Moroccan restaurant to receive a Michelin Star.
- 7) Treat yourself to some cocktails - if you like cocktails, Bourbon & Branch is an excellent place to go downtown. Find your way back to the 1920’s, the era of prohibition, when the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages was outlawed. Make sure you have the password for this speak-easy. For the restaurant you’ll have to make a reservation – after dinner find your passage through a bookshelf to the bar. For the bar I’m sure you can find the password.
- 8) Spend time at Alameda Point Antiques Faire - the Alameda Point Antiques Faire is the largest antiques show in Northern California. Held on the 1st Sunday of every month. After you’ve browsed the many stands – right next to the fair is Faction Brewing for some great beers with views on San Francisco.
- 9) Get away from Karl the Fog - if you feel like getting away from Karl the Fog – come overseas and enjoy a nice East Bay beer garden at Jupiter. Great handcrafted beers & wood-fired pizzas. The place is an old livery stable from the 1890’s.
- 10) Enjoy a Sunday Brunch at Wat Mongkolratanaram - staying overseas: Every Sunday from 10am-1pm you can enjoy some delicious Thai food prepared by monks at the Thai Temple in Berkeley. Curries, stir fries and noodles that included chicken, pork, or beef and vegetarian dishes. The place is staffed by volunteers and owners of many local Thai restaurants, the proceeds go to benefit the Wat itself, monks that live in the temple and its many programs including the cultural center and the school. Make sure you buy tokens first, before you step in line to get your food.